An important part of the WPI Plan, the distinctive Humanities & Arts (HUA) Requirement teaches you to transcend barriers, understand thoughts and connections, and comprehend how the history of the world matters to your present and future life. By understanding yourself and the diversity and creativity of human experience, you will be a more well-rounded scientist, engineer, entrepreneur, innovator, leader—you get the idea. 

In addition to the many options for HUA coursework and co-curricular activities, the HUA Requirement is your chance to embrace art, theatre, music, and other forms of creative expression. Explore themes of complexity, diversity, and the richness of human experience by examining art/architecture, history, languages, literature, philosophy, or religion. There’s also the option to complete the HUA Requirement at select off-campus project center locations through the Global Projects Program.

No matter how you choose to explore the Humanities & Arts here at WPI, you will acquire broad-based skills that complement and enhance the technical side of your WPI education and gain an individual perspective, one that will allow you to see the world and solve its problems through a lens that is uniquely your own.   

Applying Philosophical Thinking

George, an Industrial Engineering and Mathematical Science major, has pursued his interest in philosophy throughout his WPI education—from coursework to project requirements.  Applying philosophical thinking to his projects has helped him to take complex concepts and convey them in simple and consumable manners. Aside from gaining exposure to the Humanities & Arts, George believes this experience helps to make him a better global leader.

The role of the Humanities and Arts at WPI – George’s story

Fusing Art and Engineering

As an engineering major at WPI, Max realized that he wanted more art in his life and that he needed to find a way to fuse art and engineering together to pursue his dual passion. In addition to looking for those courses that would bring the humanistic dimension to what he knew he wanted to do as an engineer, Max was able to weave in the skills he gained through his HUA studies into his project requirements.

The role of the Humanities and Arts at WPI – Max’s story

A Passion for Writing

Funmi, a biomedical engineering student recognized that in order to be successful and have an impact as an engineer, she needed to be able to translate her work effectively in writing. This fueled her interest in writing and her desire to help her peers become better writers so they could produce higher quality work.


The role of the Humanities and Arts at WPI – Funmi’s story

A Broader View of the World

Charlie, a humanities and arts major with a concentration in environmental studies, combined his technical knowledge, interest in environmental history, love of nature, and overseas project experience to found his own company.

The role of the Humanities and Arts at WPI – Charlie’s story

Humanities & Arts (HUA) Award

The Class of 1879 Prize is awarded by the Humanities & Arts department yearly for excellent work in the culminating project for the Humanities & Arts Requirement. These projects must demonstrate exceptional creativity and skill in conceiving, developing, and expressing a theme within any discipline in the humanities and arts. Learn more about the 2016 HUA award winners.


2016 HUA Award Winners